Saturday, July 1, 2017

My Safe Place

As I sit here listening to the rain hit the roof as it endlessly pours down, my beautiful beagle/basset hound approaches me shaking like a leaf. He is scared of hard rain and terrified of thunderstorms. The only way he feels better is to feel me by his side. So he comes over and lays as close to me as he can get, leaning against as much of my leg as he can. Then he almost always lays his head on my foot or my leg and tries to keep me from moving. He knows how much I love him, and he knows that with me he is safe.

As a human and an adult, I still become fearful. My greatest fear--is that of the unknown. What will happen? What will I lose? How much will it hurt? These questions plague me when I don't feel safe. Can you relate?

What do you do when you get scared? My natural tendency is to go to friends and close family members and ask them to pray for me, and to talk to someone close to me. Then if I am still feeling bad, I go shopping, watch a movie or find another way to distract myself. These are ways to push the fear away for a little while, but that's all they do. What I've been learning is that only God can truly erase fear.

When I was a young woman, I had social anxiety. For anyone who doesn't know what that is, I froze up when I was around more than a couple of people. I had trouble making phone calls, and I could not get up in front of people. When I had staff meetings at work, my hands would get shaky and they would sweat so much that I would leave handprints on the table. God removed that fear in me. When I took that fear to Him, He gave me what I needed, and He still does. I have taught classes, gotten up and spoken in front of churches, I make videos, lead support groups and can handle crowds now, because I know that Jesus is right there with me. What an awesome God we serve!

God tells us 365 times in the Bible to not be afraid. Knowing that the opposite of fear is not courage but faith, sends me to the Lord in prayer and to His Word. Is it always the first place I go? No. Does it need to be the first place I go? Yes!

Out of trusting Him comes courage. It's not big and flashy. It's being able to keep going. Courage is that still small voice that says "You can get through this." It is knowing that He will catch me or cushion me if I fall, and that God is always with me. With Him I am safe. Whatever it is, with God I know, I can do it, and I can get through it.

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